The folks who create BOOMTOWN know how to be thematic. The episode
opens with musings on the L.A. River, long since lined with concrete
yet still carrying with it runoff from the rare rains of Los Angeles. The
story of the episode is also a river, running a stream through L.A., yet
bring the run-off of many people along.
This is a cop show, and it is about cops, and those around them,
and other people as well. The stories are moved forward in chunks focusing
on an individual character — a cop, an ambulance driver, a young man
involved in the crime — but this is not Rashomon, we are not seeing
the tales as influenced by anyone’s interpretations of the events. We are
just seeing different camera angles on what really happened.
This is a good show. It tells stories, and its about people.
That’s not to say that it couldn’t grow askew. It could do what 24
did last season, clinging to an interesting format but letting the quality
of the material suffer. Certainly, they will have to work to keep from
repeating themselvs, or from letting the more soap-operatic portions of
the cops lives run away with the tale.
But I think we’ll see a good run of fine episodes out of this,
certainly the best drama to be unveiled yet this season. Judging from
the first episode, the people behind this show like telling stories and
listening to people talk.
So Boomtown (Sundays on NBC) is clearly recommended (with an
extra recommendation for people who liked my comic The Factor.
There’s some similarity of soul here.)